By Olive Nugent
At a snap press conference today, Death announced unexpectedly that he will be retiring from his position as the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse. He expressed a sense of obligation to make way for younger, up-and-coming purveyors of fatality and heralds of armageddon, naming U.S. President Donald Trump as his successor.
“I’ve been immensely honoured to haunt your dreams and ring in the end-times for millennia,” he said, “but I’ve had my run, and it’s time for me to make way for new talent. I have every confidence that President Trump will, as I have, faithfully uphold the Horsemen’s tradition of keeping you all up at night worrying for the future of humanity.”
The now-former Horseman justified his choice of successor, saying that President Trump first caught his attention during the election campaign with his “kill their families” comments concerning terrorists and his staunch defense of the National Rifle Association.
“I knew from the start he had potential, but I was conflicted between him and [Philippines President Rodrigo] Duterte. It was a tough choice, but the promise of an Obamacare repeal was the clincher. I mean, Rodrigo’s bragged about killing a couple people with his bare hands, but letting thousands of people die slowly and preventably in financial ruin? Now that’s got finesse.”
Death added that that President Trump has also taken on the role of Bringer of Storms, with his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement being but the first step in his preparation for Doomsday’s floods and droughts.
The President could not be reached for comment, but Vice-President Mike Pence expressed elation at the prospect of having a line to the management when the Rapture comes.
The Fourth Horseman’s early retirement comes less than a year after his colleague Pestilence stepped aside to avoid outshining Trump advisor Steve Bannon and the scourge that has been gradually decomposing his face since the late ‘90s.
When asked about his plans for retirement, Death said he imagined himself on a beach somewhere taking some sun for his undead pallor (“I got the south-west quarter of the Earth, thank Beelzebub!”) and perhaps volunteering part-time at a local hospice or home for the elderly, where he assured reporters he has plenty of experience.
Death was reluctant to comment on the long-term plans of the remaining original horsemen, War and Famine, but hinted that one has been scouting a very promising young man from North Korea. ♦